is excerpted from
Home on the Farm
I guess you could say that my brother Howard . . . who is twelve years older than I am and left home when I was four, I'm sorry to report, to go to the University and then on to Annapolis, so we hardly had a chance to get acquainted before he left . . . anyway, I believe that my brother and I could have rightly been called fifth generation farmers IF we had been given the opportunity to stay on the land.
It seems the SPARK of LIFE directed us elsewhere.
So, my mother and dad and I lived there together on that lovely little farm, with a creek running through the back of it. There were forty acres of rather hilly pastureland. The rest was tillable; corn and soybeans and hay ground.
There were some big trees down there then, in that pastureland. Like the big beautiful shade trees surrounding our very nice two-story, stucco with wood trim home. And wonderful patches of CLUMPY green grass that had been nicely mowed between the clumps by the TEETH of the grazing cows.
The creek was back there, of course, on my forty acre playground, and my delight on warm summer days was to wade the creek; sometimes with a friend or two, but mostly alone. Just my beloved dog, Tippy and me; a little Beagle hound, who was my steady companion on the many excursions "down south."
He and I would follow the trails made in the grass by the cows. I would pretend, as we scurried along the little brown earthen paths, worn smooth by the hooves of the lumbering cows, that they had been made by the Indians, who might still be there, just over the crest of the hill or around the next corner. It was very exciting!
Tippy would follow along, too, when I rode Blackie, my Shetland pony, and sometimes, with a good bit of coaxing on my part, would jump up behind me and ride along for a short while. Tippy would also let me dress him up in some cast off baby clothes and push him around in my doll buggy for a few minutes! ~~~
He was quite a wonderful companion for a solitary little girl in the country, wasn't he?
It was a SAD day indeed when Tippy died, having been so badly mauled by the big dog that belonged to the hired man on the home place, that he never awakened from the anesthetic, after the surgery by the Veterinarian.
I was in fifth or sixth grade, and when I came home from school that day my Mother met me at the door and gravely told me what had happened to my little friend. He was still breathing then, but he died later that night. We buried him next to the tall evergreen trees that lined our long driveway. ~~~
My Mother cried a lot too. She loved him just as much as I did. And he certainly loved her! He would curl up on her feet every night while she sat on the couch reading. Somehow he would convey to her when he was ready to go to bed, for she would suddenly announce, "Well, Tippy wants to go to bed."
She would get up, walk across the kitchen and open the basement door and he would go down to his bed of blankets, there on the landing.
I was five years old when Tippy came into my life.
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